Song of the Week – Almost Cut My Hair, Crosby Stills Nash & Young

Ignored             Obscured              Restored

As you all no doubt have heard by now, David Crosby died this week.  Though his personality could be ornery, and he seemed to alienate just about everyone he ever came in contact with, it is undeniable that this flawed character created some incredibly beautiful music.

I’ve posted about him several times.

September 15, 2012                  Laughing                     David Crosby

September 26, 2013                  Blackbird                     Crosby, Stills & Nash

August 20, 2022                       Lady Friend                  The Byrds

As a teenager, I was a huge CS&N and CSN&Y fan.  At that time, Crosby’s songs were probably my least favorite.  Today, many top my list.  They were more sophisticated, almost a little jazzy, with interesting chord changes.   And that voice!!!

Today’s SotW is “Almost Cut My Hair” from CSN&Y’s Déjà Vu.

“Almost Cut My Hair” was one of the most relatable counterculture songs of the late ‘60s/early ‘70s.  Though Crosby was later almost embarrassed by the “juvenile” lyrics, they spoke to a generation of nonconformist hippies – “to be or not to be” a long-haired rebel.

Almost cut my hair
It happened just the other day
It’s gettin’ kinda long
I coulda said it wasn’t in my way
But I didn’t and I wonder why
I feel like letting my freak flag fly
Yes, I feel like I owe it to someone

The fiercely independent Neil Young was only partially involved in the recording of Déjà Vu.  Most of his contributions were recorded alone.  When ready, he would bring the tracks into the studio for CS&N to add their voices.  But he fully contributed to “Almost Cut My Hair”, providing blistering solos throughout that took Crosby’s anthem over the top.

And if you want to enjoy this SotW to its fullest, listen on headphones and crank it up!

After many years of substance abuse and ill health, Crosby entered a period of renewed creativity beginning with the release of Croz (2014), his first solo album in 20 years.  His son, James Raymond, who he had put up for adoption in 1962, was his collaborator on that and several subsequent releases including Sky Trails (2017) and For Free (2021).  These and other recent releases – Lighthouse (2016) and Here If You Listen (2018) – were all well received by critics, although they went mostly unheard by the general public.  They are worth a listen.

Enjoy… until next week.

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